PA President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a televised lecture on Monday in which he declared that Jewish “social behavior”, including money-lending was to blame for the Holocaust.
The lengthy address bore frequent anti semitic references, conspiracy theories and tropes, including numerous attempts to undermine the 3,000 year-old Jewish history in the Land of Israel, and ignoring the fact that Israel is the only place where the Jews have ever enjoyed sovereignty.
Speaking in Ramallah in front of hundreds, Abbas touched on a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories during what he called a “history lesson,” as he sought to prove the 3,000 year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel is false.
Abbas’s statement that European Jews have “no historical ties” to the Land of Israel is in stark contrast to reality, with centuries of evidence from all over Europe of Jewish traditions mourning the loss of the land with the exile from Zion, prayer books with passages on the fervent hope to return to the land, and Torah scrolls documenting the Jews’ Biblical connection to Eretz Yisrael.
The absurd charges did not end there. Despite masses of evidence that the Nazis were responsible for the Holocaust, Abbas chose to say that it was not the result of anti semitism but instead somehow a function of Jewish “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters”. Abbas went on to claim that Israel was actually a European colonial project from the start.
The Arab leader has a considerable past record of Holocaust denial, with his doctoral dissertation entitled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism”. The dissertation asserted that the figure of six million Holocaust victims was massively exaggerated, and that the Nazis and Zionist leaders worked hand-in-hand.
In his speech Monday, Abbas ignored evidence of the Jewish people’s presence and eras of sovereignty in the holy land.
The meeting was held in the midst of a critical time for Abbas, whose Fatah organization is rivaled by Hamas. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and has been making news in recent weeks for organizing mass protests on the Gaza border with Israel, with many throwing explosives, setting off booby-trapped kites, attempting to break through the security fence, causing the Israeli army to defend the border with live fire.
Hamas itself has acknowledged that five people killed in the first riots were members of the terror organization, with more fatalities later confirmed as members of other terrorist groups.